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Pearl Thusi opens up about the negative effects colourism has had on her career

2018-11-30 14:44
Pearl Thusi
Pearl Thusi (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)

Local TV personality Pearl Thusi revealed how colorism has affected her acting career and how she has been denied certain roles because wasn’t considered ‘dark enough’.

"I lost a role 'cause I wasn't black enough on Long Walk to Freedom, a very small role. I had it, and then two weeks before shooting I wasn't dark enough,” said the former Quantico actress speaking at The Next 100 Summit.

READ MORE: Pearl Thusi inspires at Global Citizen summit in New York

The mother-of-one who plays the character of a warrior princess in the latest Scorpion King movie, also explained how colorism had negatively impacted her career especially as a black woman.

“Uhm... I found out for a different role that I wasn't dark enough for that too, so I wasn't black enough. And, you know, those type of things hurt when you identify with being a black woman…” explained Pearl.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pearl Thusi speaks on colorism. Says she has lost some movie roles because she wasn’t “black enough.” <a href="https://t.co/w8h8PSFVAl">pic.twitter.com/w8h8PSFVAl</a></p>&mdash; OkayAfrica (@okayafrica) <a href="https://twitter.com/okayafrica/status/1068103552546062336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The 30-year-old actress went on to express how it was people of her own color that were marginalizing her,

"I can never say I felt held back by my colour, specifically by a caucasian group of people. It's been specifically by my own people,” she said.

“…For me, because we are so competitive and we want to, we want to succeed individually so much, instead of trying to succeed as a collective.”

But tweeps weren’t too impressed with Pearl’s opinion on colorism, with one user even point out that, “Light skin people love parading as "me too" victims when it comes to Colorism.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lightskin people love parading as &quot;me too&quot; victims when it comes to Colorism.<br><br>If you&#39;re not leading the conversation by first addressing your awareness on the privilege your skin gives you then you&#39;re better off keeping quiet and letting those who are affected have the floor. <a href="https://t.co/hW4fCg122x">https://t.co/hW4fCg122x</a></p>&mdash; Yellow Kolisi ? (@Basetsana_Pule) <a href="https://twitter.com/Basetsana_Pule/status/1068114368229978112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">it’s like some people wanna be marginalized so bad <a href="https://t.co/7af6StmaXU">https://t.co/7af6StmaXU</a></p>&mdash; ??. (@naledisibisi) <a href="https://twitter.com/naledisibisi/status/1068125051768197122?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We get it you&#39;ve lost a few roles but really??!! Dark skinned women are the most rejected and discriminated against. As a light skinned black woman you really cannot ignore your privileges. Yes you work hard <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PearlThusi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PearlThusi</a> but the darker sister behind you has to work twice as hard. <a href="https://t.co/lLBNIcSEjn">https://t.co/lLBNIcSEjn</a></p>&mdash; Brigette Matela (@brigettematela) <a href="https://twitter.com/brigettematela/status/1068219764965806080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Some of Pearl’s fans came to her rescue,

“Are we going to dismiss Pearl Thusi’s experiences purely because she’s yellow?” wrote one tweep.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hol’ up! Are we going to dismiss Pearl Thusi’s experiences purely because she’s yellow?</p>&mdash; Nomvula (@PhumyDemure) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhumyDemure/status/1068131972273319937?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Not true. Pearl Thusi has acknowledged her light-skinned privilege... That, however, doesn&#39;t mean that she doesn&#39;t experience discrimination either. At times, it&#39;s painted as if there&#39;s only one way to be Black &amp; that is to be as dark as Lupita Nyong&#39;o only.</p>&mdash; tawvn (@TAWVN) <a href="https://twitter.com/TAWVN/status/1068246424536653824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It’s so weird how people are making fun of this, when they actually don’t know Pearl”s experiences.... Haai ??</p>&mdash; keke Kay Sambo (@Keke_0107) <a href="https://twitter.com/Keke_0107/status/1068133491592826880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In closing during the panel discussion – Pearl encouraged women particularly of color –  to work together in order to achieve change.

“If we work together as black women regardless of your shade, we can move forward much faster and a lot more powerfully.”